Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

August 2012 Blog Posts (19)

To Jon Easter: here's my All-Star list of teachers from the Western School Corporation, 1961-73---thanks.

   A few days ago I started to respond to a post by friend (I consider him to be; hope the sentiments are mutual) and fellow blogger Jon Easter about teachers. In his post he commented how much he loves his job as an educator. Jon is a good man. I respect him for several aspects of his beliefs and attitudes, but his enthusiasm for his profession is particularly commendable.

   I say I started to respond because the poltergeist in my computer tangled up what I wrote. (Probably I used…


Added by Mark Small on August 31, 2012 at 5:58am — No Comments

Rupert and Brad on Saturday's Show at the Road Dog Saloon, 4861 Southeastern Avenue, 11 a.m.!

   We are proud to announce our guests for Saturday’s Show will be Rupert Boneham, Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Indiana, and his running mate, Brad Klopfenstein, Libertarian Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

   We will shoot at 11 am at the Road Dog Saloon, 4861 Southeastern Avenue, Indianapolis. The Road Dog has good food and an excellent environment. I was pleased when this all came together.

   You can check out Rupert’s and Brad’s stands on the issues…


Added by Mark Small on August 30, 2012 at 5:44am — 2 Comments

TIFs: let your City-County Councilor know what you think about the proposed TIF for Mass Ave.

   Bloggers Pat Andrews ("Had Enough Indy?"), Gary Welsh ("Advance Indiana"), and Paul Ogden ("Ogden on Politics") have the details of the nefarious actions of the City-County Council documented well on the websites.

   Apparently, the most recent meeting of the Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee adjourned, its chair Steve Talley left, and the committee re-convened. Councilor Vop Osili, an architect/engineer, called the committee back to order and, by 5-1 vote, passed a…


Added by Mark Small on August 28, 2012 at 6:13am — No Comments

Mass Ave TIF: why go in debt when the land under the fire station can be sold to the highest bidder and free market can operate?

   If you owned two blocks of highly valuable commercial land, would you borrow money to give to someone else to build on it and keep any profits in the hope some money would trickle down to you? Or would you sell the property to the highest bidder, confident the property taxes the development generates will come to you?  

   There area couple of blocks on Massachusetts ("Mass") Avenue on which a fire station, for years, has stood. The City—i.e., th Mayor and his…


Added by Mark Small on August 26, 2012 at 6:06am — No Comments

TIFs: today's topic on "Civil Discourse Now" with guests Pat Andrews and Jeff Cox.

   Tax Increment Financing districts—TIFs for short—are relatively recent arrivals in the minds of most residents of Marion County.

   What is a "TIF"? It is a specially-created tax district to capture tax revenue linked to increased property values from new construction and use the money for improvements within the same district. South Bend Tribune, Apr. 18, 2011.

   Let me put it another way. Say there is a four-block square area in a city that one would call…


Added by Mark Small on August 25, 2012 at 6:41am — No Comments

Did anyone pay attention to Ike's parting words? We can boost the economy.

   In his farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned of the military-industrial complex. President Eisenhower was no left-wing pacifist. He held five stars as a general in the United States Army. He was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces’ invasion of Normandy. He forced German civilians to tour death camps after allied forces liberated those camps, so that history could record—and others later be unable to deny—the atrocities committed by the Nazis.



Added by Mark Small on August 24, 2012 at 6:12am — No Comments

Ryan plan: rapist could get visitation, then custody, support, and see his victim go to jail.

   Under Indiana law, biological parents are entitled to rights of visitation with their children. Absent marriage, once paternity is established, a biological father even may seek change of custody if he can convince the trial court that the mother is, in some way, unfit.

   Maybe I missed something in the statutes and the guidelines for visitation, but there is "no exception for rape." No—I do not use this phrase in the context of laws that relate to abortion. I use the phrase as to…


Added by Mark Small on August 23, 2012 at 6:25am — 1 Comment

Todd Akin: clueless, yet confident and still a candidate.

   By Tuesday, August 21, 2012, at 5:00 p.m., Rep. Todd Akin had to withdraw from the Republican Party nomination of United States Senate in Missouri. He had not. He still can do so, but now only by court order.

   All four living former United States Senators from Missouri have asked Akin to withdraw. Romney’s campaign has made it known Akin should withdraw. Still Akin believes he is the best person to unseat McKaskill.

   The race for United States Senate is not the only race…


Added by Mark Small on August 22, 2012 at 6:56am — No Comments

"Legitimate rape" and the Akin School of WTF Law.

   U.S. Akin made a stir with his comments about what he called "legitimate rape."

   The gist of what he said: he had spoken with doctors who told him a woman’s body has mechanisms, if a woman is raped, to avoid pregnancy. Aside from the fact the claim is baseless in science, other aspects of his comments bothered me.

   He explained to the interviewer that in the case of rape, perhaps the rapist should be punished, but not the baby.

   First, rape is a crime. At one…


Added by Mark Small on August 21, 2012 at 6:41am — 1 Comment

On tolerance and intolerance of the left and right.

This is a continuation of a conversation begun yesterday (08/18/12) on FaceBook.


   You raise interesting points. I think I should address what I meant by "tolerance." Simple disagreement with others is within the realm of tolerance. You mention having been rebuked by those on the left for various beliefs you have had. I do not know the type of verbal exchanges you might have had. If they were on a level such that you felt punished for your beliefs, that is unfortunate.…


Added by Mark Small on August 19, 2012 at 6:39am — No Comments

Please let me have Romney's 13.6% income tax rate---please!

   Mitt Romney refuses to release any more than two (2) years of his income tax returns. Day before yesterday his wife was quoted as saying those were all the returns they would release because (1) that was all they legally were required to release and (2) the press would attack the Romneys over the information in the returns.

   Then yesterday Romney said he has reviewed his returns and has paid at least 13 percent in income taxes each of the years in question and last year paid…


Added by Mark Small on August 17, 2012 at 6:57am — No Comments

Paul Ryan and the dangerous folly of "personhood" amendments.

   With Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, we are faced, once more, with the question of "personhood" amendments, or P.A.s for short in this column. I have addressed this topic before, but this is very important. When I first read mention of P.A.s, I had to look up the term. P.A.s provide that a human life begins at conception. The implication is a human life is entitled to all the rights of a person at that point. This is another attempt to scuttle Roe v.…


Added by Mark Small on August 16, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments

Tomorrow: the top 10 jack asses in the United States for the past 20 years.

   Andrew D. Kirch posted an interesting comment today. He said that Rahm Emanuel was one of the top ten jack asses. I pondered the matter. I asked what parameters should be set for such a ranking. Just U.S.? All time? Andrew said U.S./last 20 years.

   Before we begin, a couple of points to be made.

   First, what is a "jack ass"? Other than a Male donkey," a "jack ass" is "a very stupid or foolish person."  American College Dictionary, 1962 ed. There is more to the…


Added by Mark Small on August 14, 2012 at 6:31am — No Comments

8/10/12 at 5:30 p.m.: Broad Ripple's bars and sidewalks were dead on a beautiful day; how was Beech Grove?

   Yesterday—Friday—at about 5:30 we walked down to Broad Ripple. A few months ago, and especially before June 1, that was a time of day on a specific day of the week when the bars would be bustling. The week was over, the workday had ended, and people would be out to blow off steam. The sidewalks would be a bit crowded as people went from place-to-place.

   Yesterday’s weather was beautiful. The high reached 76 or 78 degrees. One would expect people to be out in droves.



Added by Mark Small on August 11, 2012 at 6:29am — No Comments

Can the General Assembly adopt a law setting what time Hoosiers go to bed?

   Last night I was asleep by 9:00 and felt well-rested when I woke at 4 a.m. Various studies indicate that (1) a minimum of seven hours’ sleep per night provides one with optimum rest (2) sleep is best obtained on a regular basis so that the biological clock of one’s body runs on the same schedule and (3) if people comported their lives by these two factors, amongst other benefits, the national health would improve, people’s lives would be longer, and insurance rates would drop. I can cite…


Added by Mark Small on August 9, 2012 at 6:13am — 1 Comment

Romney's tax returns: failure to plan for this obvious issue is another reason not to vote for Mitt.

   Mitt Romney’s failure to produce tax returns underlines a significant reason why he should not be president.

   In 2008, in an attempt to suck up to John McCain and be named the GOP’s candidate for VP, Romney provided 23 years of his income tax returns to McCain’s people. That is according to Steve Schmidt, a chief member of the McCain campaign team. Since that was reported at least one week ago, I have not heard anyone from Romney’s camp deny that claim.

   At the end of…


Added by Mark Small on August 7, 2012 at 6:21am — 2 Comments

Today's Show: workers' rights in Indianapolis and the bill vetoed by Myor Ballard.

   "I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process."–President Benjamin Harrison (Republican), 1891.

   I am surprised to quote President B. Harrison positively. He was President of the United States during one of our worst periods of corporate excesses. Workers had no rights and labored for many hours while paid pennies. Workers’ protests were squelched by violence.

   By the 1970s, the American labor force…


Added by Mark Small on August 4, 2012 at 6:35am — No Comments

he State Fair: an annual treat.

   When I was a kid, we all (kids in the neighborhood) looked forward to the Howard County Fair. That was a must-see. A stop at the Lions Club tent for food came first. We would hit several other tents and be given various crap—amongst which always was a yard stick—for free. We had to walk through the farm implement area and sit on tractors and earth movers. The miscellaneous "big tent" seemed always to have a vacuum cleaner that kept a ping-pong ball suspended in air. The rides were the big…


Added by Mark Small on August 3, 2012 at 6:18am — No Comments

Gore Vidal dead at 86; America loses a brilliant mind.

   Gore Vidal died yesterday evening at the age of 86. He wrote a lot of books, screenplays, and essays. He seemed always good for a quote.

   My first recollection of him was his famous exchange with William F. Buckley on August 28, 1968, during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Vidal was as far left as Buckley was far right. They were hired as commentators by ABC. In the streets of Chicago, what the Walker Commission later called a "police riot" had riveted the attention of…


Added by Mark Small on August 1, 2012 at 6:25am — No Comments

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